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ADHD in kids tied to organophosphate pesticides

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children exposed to pesticides known as
organophosphates could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study.

Researchers tracked the pesticides' breakdown products in kids' urine
and found those with high levels were almost twice as likely to
develop ADHD as those with undetectable levels.

The findings are based on data from the general U.S. population,
meaning that exposure to the pesticides could be harmful even at
levels commonly found in children's environment.

"There is growing concern that these pesticides may be related to
ADHD," said Marc Weisskopf of the Harvard School of Public Health, who
worked on the study. "What this paper specifically highlights is that
this may be true even at low concentrations."

Organophosphates were originally developed for chemical warfare, and
they are known to be toxic to the nervous system. There are about 40
organophosphate pesticides such as malathion registered in the U.S.,
the researchers wrote in the journal Pediatrics.

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